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What is Education? ~ A Message from my Heart

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by MaverickBrenton, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. MaverickBrenton
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    Why do we have to learn this?

    I asked and heard this question asked, numerous times throughout my childhood - but never was anyone who asked it, including myself, ever met with any other answer than, "getting a good job". As if that is what life is all about, as if that is the reason you spend you entire childhood sitting in a chair instead of exploring and discovering what makes you unique. As if that is the reason you must sit down, be quiet, do as your told and not question anything, from the time you can walk until you are almost an adult. Forced away from home and taught by strangers, intimidated by authority and humiliated by test results based on ones ability to memorise irrelevant information and spew it back up into multiple choice exams - seems a little strange when you stand back and think about it all, does it not?

    All my childhood I knew something was off about it, I wanted to explore and decipher how the world worked, I was full of wonder, curiosity and questions about life and how things worked. But, instead of being able to follow through on my natural inclinations and pursue my interests, I was thrown into a system where everyday, Monday to Friday, I was stuck in a room being told how to think and act, by a complete stranger. Don't do this, don't do that, think like this, think like that. It was the same thing everyday, instead of being allowed to build upon my uniqueness, I was given a student ID number, told to stop asking so many questions about everything and was integrated into a strict curriculum where any acts of originality and independence, were punished not only by the teacher, but by the criticism of fellow students, who all aspired to fit in and looked down upon anyone who acted differently. Submission to the authority of my teachers and a keen display of eagerness to do exactly as you were asked, was rewarded with praise, while trying to be different, was punished. So you learn to be like everyone else and follow the carefully set out rules of the system - you begin to ignore what makes you unique, and, just like fleas in a small container, if you leave the lid on long enough, they grow tired of trying to jump out and eventually stop - the lid can then be removed and the fleas will not do anything.

    This process of having my originality squashed continued, until eventually I submitted to the authority and just decided to do what I was told - from fear of judgement and being punished, I did my best to fit in and be like the smart kids, who always did exactly as they were told and never questioned a thing. I stayed this way for many years and pretended to actually enjoy the countless hours spent learning useless information. Only in my mid teens did a strong feeling a discomfort begin to grow inside me, a big ball of anxiety that smacked against the walls of my chest harder and harder with every day that went past, I knew something was wrong with how I was being prepared for life - nothing I was learning was actually useful and most of the people I admired in the real world had dropped out of school and still done big things.

    "How could this be true? The principal standing in front of all these lines of students is telling us that to be successful we have to do well in school and go to college, but nobody I have read about did that, in fact they all say they opposite", I would think to myself almost daily.

    All my observations of the real world and the perspective I had created in my mind from reading and simply paying attention, were completely contradicted by what I was being taught at school along with everything that I had been told since I was a child.

    Why? Why? Why?

    I could never figure it out, but I kept searching and I grew more dissatisfied every day. I knew I was getting lied to, but I didn't know how and I didn't know why. It was only after relentlessly searching for answers that I finally discovered the truth - the truth was that all these years I was wrong about school when I thought something was wrong with it. The truth is there is nothing wrong with it at all. School does exactly what it is mean't to do, it does exactly what it was designed to do, and what it is mean't to do is not prepare you for life and give you valuable skills and knowledge - nothing could be further from the truth. The real aim of schooling is, in the words of H.L. Mencken:

    "..to simply reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardised citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is it's aim in the United States, and that is it's aim everywhere else"

    School is not mean't to prepare you for life - common sense can tell you that. It does not produce young men and women who are strong, independent, critically thinking and original - the kind of people who seek to create value and live a meaningful life instead of trying to be like everyone else. It simply trains people from childhood, to be obedient, dependent and incapable of any independent thought or action - to follow orders like cogs in a machine, to be, as Pink Floyd would say, "just another brick in the wall. That's why you have to learn what you do, that's the real answer. The same answer myself and everyone else always got as a child when they asked why they had to learn what they were learning. That answer is, "TO GET A GOOD JOB".

    Obviously such a claim requires compelling evidence to back it up and so I ask you to simply use some common sense and look at school. Look at the people it produces. Look at the intelligence of the average person today. Not only is it written in History that school is mean't for nothing other than creating employee's, but it is demonstrated by the enormous number of high school and college dropouts that have gone on to become some of the wealthiest and most respected men and women on earth. People who broke the rules of the system and did things their way - people who thought for themselves and had originality. Putting that point aside, I ask any of you who are older, have experience and are successful, to just compare the relevance of what you learned in school with the real world - where exam results and how good you were in school mean absolutely nothing, where unless you learn to pay attention and think for yourself, you end up a cog in somebody else's machine, living a miserable and meaningless life.

    Which is the exact situation of the average person at this very time in History.

    The average man and the average woman, hate their job and hate their life. Their evenings are spent absorbed in reality television, their bodies are fed with disgusting food, they have no inner life and they have not picked up a book since they left school. They are up to their eyeballs in debt, struggling to meet the payments on their car loans, house loans and credit cards. Any thought of foregoing pleasure and waiting is non existent in their minds.They cannot think for themselves, they are governed by their impulses and are most often living week to week because all their money is spent on things they don't need and cannot afford. They feel trapped, they are the flea in the container - but there is no longer a lid on the container and yet they still remain stagnant and never try to escape.

    This is LEARNED HELPLESSNESS, the product of being fed everything you are supposed to learn for your entire youth and never having to seek anything out for yourself. You feel trapped but you are not. You have just been trained to be reliant on others to show you the way, you expect to be handed everything and you are waiting for the orders you have been trained to accept.

    People are not born this way - we are not naturally stupid. Why do you think humans won the evolutionary war for survival and emerged as the dominant species on earth? Because of our minds. We may not be the strongest - but we are incredibly intelligent and adaptable. Your mind is an incredibly powerful tool and the truth is, genius is as common as dirt, but that genius is never given a chance to come to fruition in the average person. How does that young boy who does nothing but ask questions and strive to understand life, end up a mindless drone living as a cog in a machine? What the fuck happens to him? Where does the curiosity go?

    If you are someone who pays attention, I am sure you can figure that out for yourself. An organism that has a mind which has evolved over millions of years to survive a dangerous, challenging and demanding environment, does not just become a stupid piece of shit all of a sudden. People do not just suddenly become impulsive, consumption machines - only people who have been stripped of their ability to think critically and independently have, only people who have been trained to do exactly as they are told and never question anything.

    Where are all the bright eyed and bushy tailed young men and women ready to add value to the world?

    There's a few, but there ain't many, because that's not the kind of person that graduates from High School. The majority are either at college getting useless and expensive degrees, spending every last cent they have on drugs and alcohol, or they are completely lost and have no idea how to approach life at all, because they have been stuck in school their entire youth and neither know anything of real value nor possess any real skills. All they can do is follow along with the opinions of everyone and do what they are told - their only escape is television, video games and social media, because the ability to think and solve problems does not exist in their mind, they can only do multiple choice exams and short answer questions. They have no knowledge or understanding of money at all and their self worth is based off who drives the nicest car that they financed because they are too broke to pay cash for it - which is an easy mistake to make for them, all it takes is one ad on television and they are on the phone asking what the best financing deal is for the car they just seen. Stupidity is literally exploding from every crack in the walls of our society - even our humour is no longer actual humour, but just stupid shit. We reward stupidity and ignorance, its almost incredible. People are not talking about anything worthwhile, instead the average conversation is about some reality TV show or the car crash on the other side of the world which was covered on your local news last night. Children are glued to the screens of Ipads and Televisions, living artificial lives and its almost an act of rebellion to read a book. Let alone talk about anything worthwhile. Was the movie Idiocracy just a movie or did someone catch a glimpse of our future?

    Anyone who has the ability to see outside of this mess, look at our society from a different perspective and decide to make a change, is judged and looked down upon by everyone else. Just like the little boy in school who tries to be original and do his own thing, being different as an adult gets you the same result.

    But, you must understand that by being original and thinking for yourself, you are heading down the path of education and it is education that will truly prepare you for the world and teach you about life. Education is the key to a well lived life, not schooling.

    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" ~ Nelson Mandela

    During his rise Nelson Mandela was surrounded by men that just seemed to think in a different way than everyone else, even though they were not educated by Universities as Nelson was. These men knew how to speak and win people over, they knew how to think for themselves and they knew things of real value. They knew how to connect the dots and see the big picture. That is what education does and that is why education and schooling are two very different things. Schooling simply extends childhood and prevents people from ever really growing up, it removes any independent thought and character that existed beforehand and produces a dumbed down and docile human being - the perfect employee that can be trained to fit into specialised roles in large businesses and organisations. An employee that is incapable of anything other than very skillfully memorising small chunks of irrelevant information and useless facts.

    Education, on the other hand is what Thomas Jefferson went through when his father sent him off into the woods before he turned 10, to hunt for food. Education is what enabled Benjamin Franklin, at the mere age of 17, to sail to another country and become one of the greatest and most admired Americans of all time. Education enabled David Farragut to take command of a British War Ship at the age of 12 and sail the seas. Education enabled a penniless immigrant who never attended school for more than a few years, to rise and become one of the wealthiest men on the planet in the 20th century - a man known as Andrew Carnegie. Education awakens the powers within the mind and produces genius - it is the most valuable commodity on the planet and has the power to change the world, as it already has. There is no ten step guide to education, just as there is no ten step guide to wealth, it involves many things and is different for everyone, and it is only made possible when a person decides to think on their own and seek answers relentlessly, to constantly pursue knowledge. Education will teach a person about their self and why they are the way they are, it will teach them how the world around them works and it will teach them why it is the way it is. It will awaken their talents and allow them to make a dent in the world. It will unleash the full capacity of a mind that has evolved over millions of years to survive and thrive. But more importantly than all of that, education will teach you how to live and how to die - that is it's greatest gift and that is the hardest thing to learn of all. These are among the many things education can grant you, but you must pursue her, she will not pursue you. Find remnants of her within the dark corners of libraries where nobody goes and follow the crumbs she leaves behind. Find people who understand the world better than you and apply yourself completely to your life, for you will never understand things fully unless you have knowledge grounded in actual experience. That is the true essence of understanding - experience.

    So if you are reading this and are still in school, I don't encourage you to drop out and rebel. I simply encourage you to begin to think for yourself and to seek education. Seek to understand yourself and understand life. Read real books and seek real experience. Take risks and push yourself to the limit in real life challenges, so that you can see what you are really made of. Become addicted to the process of life and enjoy yourself along the way, because time is extremely finite and life is incredibly fragile.

    I hope you enjoyed this talk and Carpe Diem, for our time is running out as we speak!

    ~ Maverick.
     
  2. JakeVW
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    JakeVW Contributor

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    Terrific man, absolutely great. Couldn't agree more. Thanks for the write up, I'm definitely going to revisit this some more after I give it a chance to soak in


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. MaverickBrenton
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    Glad you liked it mate!
     
  4. Omerroz
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    wow!!!
    i like your writing
    And you're right in many ways
    But today people are waiting for knowledge to fall from the heavens and not understand that everything is a process
    I was also at first like you ... looking for an answer to everything and trying to delve into everything but it is depressing
    because there are things that really dont have answers
     
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  5. MaverickBrenton
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    That waiting for knowledge is a product of Learned Helplessness from my experience and in my opinion. You feel helpless in the face of trying to learn about something complex because you have been trained to be handed information, instead of seeking it out and finding the answers for yourself. Real life, unlike school, has no curriculum and there are no teachers coming to you and handing you what you must learn - instead you must seek them out and you must seek out the information you need for yourself.
     
  6. Omerroz
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    Omerroz New Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    You're right at 100%
    In my case it was a little different,
    Because after school I enlisted in the army
    And in the army there is no logic, there are only orders
    And they think only of operations
     
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